Man accused of fatally shooting bicyclist appears before judge

Kadel Piedrahita, 41, charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault

The suspected gunman in a deadly shooting on the Rickenbacker Causeway went before a judge Friday.

MIAMI – The suspected gunman in a fatal shooting on the Rickenbacker Causeway went before a judge Friday. 

Kadel Piedrahita stood solemnly in a Miami-Dade County courtroom Friday as the prosecutor formally filed charges of second-degree murder and aggravated assault against him. 

The 41-year-old is accused in the shooting death of bicyclist Alex Palencia, 49, who was fatally shot Aug. 14 while cycling with a group on the Rickenbacker Causeway.

"Of course, he's devastated he's in jail. He's never been there before," Piedrahita's attorney, Sabino Jaregui, said. "It's horrible for his family. He's got two children. He's got a wife."

Piedrahita's attorney said they now start the work of proving he acted in self-defense. 

Witnesses said Piedrahita regularly rode his motorcycle on the causeway alongside a group of cyclists, documenting their rides on Facebook live. 

Detectives said video from last month captures Piedrahita and Palencia getting into a dispute that ended with Palencia getting shot in the stomach after the scuffle. 

Jauregui said the brief clips don't tell the whole story, and there are still more videos circulating. 

"So once we have all those videos together, we'll be able to get a complete picture of what really happened in this case," Jauregui said. 

Piedrahita has claimed two men attacked him, and his actions were in self-defense. It's a story Palencia's ex-wife thought unlikely when she spoke with Local 10 News in August. 

"He never got into a fight," she said. "I've known him since 1995 when he moved here from Cuba. Never seen him in a fight. Never."

Piedrahita said his client hopes he will be able to prove that he acted in self-defense.

"And (that) he's not a murderer, and he did what he had to do to protect himself," Piedrahita said.

About the Author:

Amy Viteri is an Emmy Award-winning journalist who joined Local 10 News in September 2015. She's currently an investigative reporter and enjoys uncovering issues facing South Florida communities. A native of the Washington, D.C., area, she's happy to be back in South Florida, where she earned a masters degree at the University of Miami.